Technological advances have provided the facility for an ever-increasing range of analyses to be performed outside diagnostic laboratories.  While it remains desirable for the vast majority of investigations to be done in centralised laboratories there are circumstances where it is appropriate for certain tests to be undertaken outside this environment.

Point of Care Testing (POCT) or near patient testing (NPT) is the term applied to tests done by non-laboratory personnel outside a recognised diagnostic laboratory.  When well planned and correctly implemented, POCT can offer significant benefits to patient care but lack of attention to detail can result in it being an unmitigated disaster.

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Near Patient Testing Policy.

Point of Care Testing at Barnsley Hospital NHSFT

Tests currently performed as POCT within the Trust are:

Obtaining blood for glucose analysis

Obtaining blood for glucose analysis

  • Blood Gases
  • Co-oximetry
  • Electrolytes & Lactate
  • Blood Glucose
  • Urinalysis
  • Pregnancy Testing (urinary hCG)
  • Cardiac Markers
  • HbA1c
  • Ketones
  • International Normalised Ratio (INR)

PoCT Quality

To maintain the quality of the results each test is enrolled in an external Quality Assessment Scheme over seen by the laboratory.

User training is cascaded via ward based Link Nurses.

Internal Users

We have training documentation and user guides available on the hospital intranet. Please note you will only be able to access this site if you are a Barnsley Hospital staff member using a Trust computer – you will be asked for your username and password.